The Best Age

Sep 21, 2012 by

My friend and I were talking recently about what we would consider to be the best kid age.  Now, I have a 6, 2, and 1-year-old so I’ve been through many of the early childhood stages at least once.  And yet, I’m still at a loss for what I’d consider my favorite.

Let’s do a little recap, shall we?

Infancy – No sleep, lots of crying, no sleep, attached to me at all times, blowouts, and did I mention the no sleep?  If I didn’t, then surely Steph did.

12-18 months – This age is a big yikes for me.  Temper tantrums, hitting, and biting all make their appearance on the scene. Sleep issues often continue. Parent preference peaks.  Dressing and diaper changing is akin to wrestling a well-oiled octopus. Oh man, I break into a sweat just thinking about it. Let’s move on.

Toddlerhood – As toddlers they really start engaging with their world.  In fact, at this age they assemble a comprehensive rule book about how the world is and is not supposed to work.  To make things extra fun, they purposely don’t share the rule book with us.  Super fun, right? Like: most days it’s perfectly fine to cut the banana in half, but every other Tuesday if the wind is blowing east to west and they are wearing blue, you are CLEARLY not supposed to cut the banana in half.  And rule #185 specifically states that nothing green is ever supposed to touch the toddler’s plate – ever. How about the one where the toddler must be the first one up or down the stairs every time? Yup. SO FUN. Especially since we all know what happens when a toddler rule is broken…I’ll just say this: take cover.

3 years old - ::phew:: we’ve made it out of the “terrible twos”…yeah right, not so fast.  At three years old children are a little less self-centered.  They pay attention to the feelings of those around them.  For example: they become keenly aware of the things that make mom mad…and they are damn sure to do those things OVER AND OVER again.

4 years old – Okay, I’ll admit, 4 is not so bad.  But the thing I never realized before I became a parent is that 4 year olds still have temper tantrums.  OMG, do these things ever end??  Any age that includes temper tantrums can not be my favorite. Also, what’s with the sass? This is the age at which my son first said to me, “If you don’t let me [fill in the blank], I’m not going to be your friend any more!”  Ha! Jokes on you kid, I’m your PARENT not your FRIEND. Next!

5 years old – Begin kindergarten. Make new friends. Learn lots of new things. And never.stop.talking.  This is the age at which they develop the breathing-and-talking-at-the-same-time skill so they never even have to pause for a breath.  “Mom, mom, mom. Mom, I have to tell you something. What’s for dinner tonight? Mom, do you know what happened today at school? Mom, mom, mom. Want to hear a joke? Can I have a snack? Mom can you hear me? MOOOOOOM??”  All said in a 3 second span. Good gracious. Get me some earplugs on the double. Better yet, let’s just make it a double.

6 years old – The magical age at which they begin to read! It’s exciting and we are so incredibly proud! Except, have you ever actually sat and listened to an early reader struggle through a book? That shit is painful.  C-C-C A-A-A R-R-R. CC-AARR. [::whine::, try to change the subject, skip ahead to “reading” the pictures, ::whine::12 reminders from mom to stay focused and blend the sounds together] C-A-R. Car!  And that was just one word. 37 more to go.

So you see my dilemma with this favorite age business.

You know what age sounds great? 8. A solid not-too-young but not-too-old age.  8 is what I daydream about. 

And all you parents of 8+ year olds out there? Shhhhh. Let me have my dream.

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Elise

Elise and her wife live in Newington. After becoming foster parents in December 2009, they’ve developed a much greater appreciation for drinking. Kidding, mostly. In April 2012 they were overjoyed to have the opportunity to adopt their 3 wonderful foster children ages 6, 2 ½, and 19 months. Despite racking up mega loans to study school and child psychology for a million years, Elise works full time in the insurance industry. Not to worry though, her children – thoughtful things that they are – make sure she has ample opportunity to put her schooling to work on a daily basis. In her free time – ha!, yeah right.

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12 Comments

  1. Love this. Love your writing. And SO TRUE!

  2. Michelle

    Hahaha I LOVE this. Might be my favorite post yet!

  3. Thank you so much for this post today!!!! :)))) My son is 7 and the stage we are in at the moment has me thinking that the universe is getting a really big laugh at my personal expense. Can you say 2 hours of yelling bakc and forth about 15 minutes worth of homework?!?!?! If he isn’t truly interested in the work he is doing, or it isn’t “fun” then OMG! the wars we have trying to get something done in a timely manner. I really need to get this kid to understand the concept of time. ;)

    Thankfully the truly defiant behavior has stared to come to an end. However, we still have times occasionally when I say stop my son hears “do it again but do it louder, and faster!”

    Most times I am a really good mother and do not picture myself running out the front door, screaming while pulling every last strand of hair out and never coming back…especially when he looks at me, notices that look on my face, stops doing (or starts doing) whatever it is I had told him to stop (or start) doing and comes up to give me a hug and what sounds like a sincere “I’m sorry mommy”.

    At the end of the day I would not trade a moment of it for another life. I have always told him, and I still believe this, my worst day with him far exceeds my best day without him. :)

    • Elise

      Paige you teared me up with that ending! So sweet and certainly true.

    • Pamela

      What you bring up is a really important issue – schools are asking a whole lot of kids in the homework department, and I have no problem with that in theory. But in practice it is a huge burden for parents, especially for working parents who have very little time between getting home and starting up bedtime. I would rather spend the time hanging out and playing games with my kids, which I think benefits them far more developmentally than me forcing them to read and practice math facts. It is especially hard for me to do this with my son who can read and do math significantly above his grade level – I feel like I am wasting precious time arguing with a kid to make him do something fairly useless.

      And wow, I dream of the day that my seven year old see the look on my face and says sorry, lol.

  4. Sofia

    Too cute. You don’t know how often I have to ask my 7 year old to just shut up. All the talking is unbelievable. My 3 year old is stubborn and trying to get him to do something he does not want is a constant battle. ;)

  5. Anna

    Ha! Good luck with 8. We have a neighbor who is 8 and so unbelievably fresh. I am sure that it has a lot to do with lack of rules or consequences but man alive the back talk is awful. I say after every stage that its my favorite. It’s hard to choose just one!

    • Elise

      No Anna, don’t ruin it for me! Okay, fine, I picked a new favorite age…25 as in, when they are out of the house!

      Of course I’m kidding and you are absolutely right…there is also a lot to love about every age :)

  6. Kate Street

    LOVE THIS POST! ♥

  7. bernhardsonbunch

    LOVE this post, hahahahahhaha! Everyone I know looooooves babies, but I feel like I am FINALLY kind of sort of able to know what’s going on since my “baby” is 16 months. But I already see the tantrums on the horizon…and I don’t like it…not onnnnne bit.

  8. Louise

    The best stage is the one he is in. (I only have 1 child and he is 7)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Temper Tantrums: Not just for kids | My Sanity Experiment - [...] The Best Age (ctworkingmoms.com) [...]
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  4. 子供の成長のはなし « iine - [...] photos from here:http://ctworkingmoms.com/2012/09/21/the-best-age/ [...]

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